Is Canada A Monarchy?

Canadian political system may seem confusing.

It used to be a colony or a dominion? What is a dominion? Who is the president of Canada (nobody)? What is the difference between provinces and territories, why they don’t have just states?

And finally – is Canada a Monarchy?

MapleDude.Ca will answer this question today.

Is Canada A Monarchy? / Image, Picture, Drawing / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Right off the bat the answer is yes, Canada is a Monarchy, but what kind of a Monarchy though?

Yes, there is more than just one kind.

Monarchy is a form of government with, well, a monarch, king or queen. That’s why you see a lot of those “King” and “Queen” street in all ex-British colonies. The key point of a monarchy is that a Queen or a King has all the power, they can do whatever they want without anybody’s approval. This is what most people think of a Monarchy and they are right, they are right when it comes to the oldest type of it – Absolute Monarchy. With such kind of government a Monarch rules until his death and he passes power to his children. This is called a dynasty.

Current examples of such monarchy are countries like Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City and the United Arab Emirates.

In good old days (not that good…) this was the only type of monarchy, so now all countries with different types of monarchy had an absolute monarchy in the past before they went thru reforms.

The other type of monarchy is more developed and modern, it is called a Constitutional Monarchy, this is the one Canada has, as well as many other developed countries.

Countries with constitutional monarchy are: Australia, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Jamaica, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom and many others.

There is also an Elective Monarchy, but today we won’t cover that.

In Constitutional Monarchy there is a King or a Queen, but they have no real power. In this system all real political power belongs to the elected parliament and the leader of a country called “Prime Minister”. King or Queen is still there and they are symbolic, for example recent royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was all over the news, but the royal family does not rule the country.

The most important thing in Constitutional Monarchy is the constitution. This is the main law, not a will of a King or a Queen.

Canada is still a Monarchy, but it is a democratic and sovereign country where Canadian people elect representatives, who act on their behalf in the parliament. The ruling party picks a Prime Minister, he assigns members of the Senate, Judges and Ministers, but power comes from people.

To honor historical system Canada still has some symbolic roles, like Governor-general, who acts on Queen’s behalf.

What Are The Main Imports And Exports Of Canada?

Canada is very active when it comes to trade, its total export was $390 billion in 2016 and total import $416 billion (According to WTO). The main Canadian trade partners are The United States, European Union, China, Japan and Mexico.

The United States is the most important Canadian trade partner, Canada buys 75%+ of all goods from the U.S. and sell 52% of Canadian products and services to its southern big brother.

The question today is: what exactly are the main imports and exports of Canada? To put it simply: what Canada produces and what it buys from other countries? Let’s figure this out.

Today such data is quite easy to find, all trade statistics is published by many organizations, but probably the best source is the atlas.media.mit.edu. This is a project of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with open and transparent data.

What Are The Main Imports And Exports Of Canada / Infographic / MapleDude.Ca
Infographic by MapleDude.Ca

Canadian top imports are:

  • Cars ($26.4B);
  • Vehicle Parts ($20.4B);
  • Delivery Trucks ($12.9B);
  • Refined Petroleum ($10.8B);
  • Crude Petroleum ($10.3B).

Those are products Canada buys the most, the majority of them comes from The United States.

The biggest import categories are:

Machines (99B), Transportation (76.3B), Chemical Products (34.4B), Mineral Products (28B) and Metals (24.3B).

Canadian imports are quite diversified.

Canadian top exports:

  • Cars ($48.9B);
  • Crude Petroleum ($39.6B);
  • Vehicle Parts ($10.5B);
  • Refined Petroleum ($8.34B);
  • Sawn Wood ($7.79B).

This is what Canada produces and sells abroad. For Canada export of its natural resources (wood, oil) remains very important.

Main Canadian export categories are:

Mineral Products (70B), Transportation (75.9B), Machines (41.1B), Metals (28.3B) and Chemical Products (27.2B).

Canada, The United States and Mexico had a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which made trade between those countries easier. In 2018 it was replaced by Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) by Donald Trump’s administration.

Should I Use A .CA Domain For My Website?

When a business or an individual in Canada thinking of establishing a new website sometimes it is unclear that a .CA domain is the right choice, maybe it is better to go with more common .COM?

Should I Use A .CA Domain For My Website? / Picture, Drawing, Image / MapleDude.Ca
Original drawing by MapleDude.Ca

Today MapleDude.Ca will explain benefits of .CA domains for Canadians and why you might consider to use it.

Show that you are a Canadian

The main advantage of a .CA domain name is that it clearly shows that the owner of a website located in Canada.

It is possible to register this domain if you are not a Canadian citizen, for example for temporary residents, but most of the Canadian domains belong to Canadians.

If your blog or a website is about Canada, it is nice to show everybody this by using a .CA domain, it would give you more trust. Wouldn’t it be suspicious if you went on a local Canadian website which has a domain of an unknown country? For a local business and media using .CA zone is particularity important.

Imagine a firm which provides immigration help in Canada, what would be your impression of such firm if they couldn’t even get a .CA domain? Maybe there are not physically in Canada? Why wouldn’t they create a .CA domain if they sell Canadian immigration services? This is just one example of how Canadian domain can give you more trust.

Think about this, somebody writes an article about something Canadian, what if it is someone not from Canada and he is actually making everything up? How would you know that someone wrote an article about Canada not only to get clicks and ads revenue, but because he cares and knows about a particular Canadian topic?

.CA domain at least can tell you that the website’s owner is located in Canada, this is a good start for the first impression.

I realize that not all internet users are educated, many people wouldn’t see a big difference between .COM and .CA, they might not even notice website’s URL, but more people every year learn about how internet works, so the trust in .CA will only grow with time.

SEO benefits of a .CA domain

Now let’s talk about SEO (search engine optimization).

As you might know Google search engine has local and international search results. For example if someone searches “good restaurant near me” this is definitely a local request, so google would prefer to show something Canadian, if the person who searched for it is in Canada.

With Canadian domain you will stay stronger in local search results and with queries about Canada.

.CA domain does not automatically guarantee you more Canadian traffic right away, creating your website with a .CA domain doesn’t mean that you will get a million Canadian visitors the next day, but in a long run your growing website will benefit more and more by wining .COM websites in local Canadian competitive searches.

Protected by Canada

.CA domains are managed by Canadian Internet Registration Authority (cira.ca), they operate under Canadian legal framework. If something bad happens with your .NET or .COM domain, there are ways to fix it, but those mostly are international domains managed by an
organization in The United States (verisign.com).

Canadians domains are protected by the Canadians law.

For example with a Canadian domain you don’t have to pay for WHOIS service, which protects your privacy. Canadian domains have this feature for free from the beginning.

Get any name you want

There are millions and millions .COM domains. When you came us with a great name for your website or brand, a big chance is that this name is already captured in .COM zone. You would have to buy it out from somebody, which can be a challenging and expensive task, or you would need to add some unattractive things to your name.

There are only 2.5 million .CA domains (2016) compared with 250+ million
.COM websites (2013, techcrunch.com)

It is much more likely to find a great short free domain name in Canadian zone that in the .COM.

Be unique

Even for pages which are not about Canada it can be beneficial to have your website on a .CA domain. Imagine that a person from Europe opens up your article from search results, imagine that there are two identical articles on two websites, one of with is yours on .CA and another one is on .COM (let’s say someone stole your article).

.COM websites are everywhere, .CA looks fresh.

Anybody in the world knows .COM websites because they are present in all countries, but when you see a .CA website in search results, this tells a little bit more about the website than another “.COM whatever”. So owing a Canadian domain can be a minor competitive advantage online even for international visitors.

When it is better to go with .COM?

As more your website targeted to international audience, as more beneficial it is to get a .COM or .NET domain name. If you want to sell your product or a service online, and the Canadian location doesn’t matter for most of the people (nobody cares where you and your website is located), you may choose to use a .COM domain name.

This might be the case for an online game, or for an international media in English, which works for all English speaking countries. If you are a Youtuber who wants to make a text blog as well, you can go with .COM if your YouTube blog has nothing to do with Canada.

Although lately more and more people consider to open an additional version of their website with .CA domain to make a redirect to .COM or for some other reasons.

When it comes to international search results .COM often will perform better than .CA, but it is not always the case. Surely old and trusted Canadian website will beat unknown .COM blog even on international searches, but if websites are similar in terms of the age and trust, .COM will most likely be higher in search results on international English queries, therefore it’ll get more traffic. So if your website has nothing to do with Canada, you don’t have to register a .CA domain.

Patriotism

The last reason to create a website with .CA domain name is Canadian patriotism. When you pay $15-20 every year for your domain with .CA it will go to the Canadian economy and to Canadian government one way or another. This creates jobs and it is good for the country. Sure, it is a very small contribution, but it is something.

2.5 million+ domains $20 every year for each is equal to $50,000,000, not that small number as it turns out. If those domains weren’t .CA, all this money would go somewhere else.

Is It Safe In Canada?

What are your chances of being robbed on dark Canadian snowy streets? What are major life ricks in Canada? To address the safety issue let’s take a look at some numbers and statistics.

Is It Safe In Canada / Image, picture, drawing, art / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

Canada is on 158th place in the world by murder rates (UNODC statistics) with 1.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants (611 cases in 2016). A big brother just across the border, The U.S., has 5.35 murders per 100,000 citizens (17,250 cases in 2016). Compared to some South American countries (El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela with 55+ murders per 100k people) Canada is super safe. Most of the western Europe and Asia (South Korea, Japan) is safer when it comes to killings and assaults, but Canada almost the best place in North and South America in terms of the violent crime.

Traffic-related death is another big cause of death in many countries, these numbers are calculated by WHO (World Health Organization).

By road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year Canadians are standing well with just 6 (10.9 in the United States). Western Europe is a bit better, but Canadian roads can be called safe.

Many major causes of death are health related (stroke, heart disease, infections, etc.). Canadian healthcare has its problems, but it is one of the best in the world (because all countries have problems with their healthcare too). Canada takes 12-th place in the world by life expectancy with both sexes life expectancy equal to 82.2 years old.

There are very few countries with better life expectancy (Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Italy and few others). Every new Canadian immigrant has to go thru detailed medical exam and in case of a major health issue like an infection he or she can’t enter the country.

Robbery rate by country is not easy to find, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2015 Canada rate was equal to 61 per 100,000 people. This is not the best number, it is even higher than Lebanon, Russia, Senegal, Thailand and Kenya. Although we can assume that in many countries robbery is just not often reported due to many reasons; maybe there are no chances to catch a criminal, maybe it is reported often in Canada because people have insurance, so they can get a compensation, or maybe Canadian police is just very transparent as other Canadian government organizations, so they don’t hide numbers and publish everything as it is. In any case robbery seems to be a problem in Canada, but as in The United States chances of being robbed depend on the city and neighborhood.

There is no perfect country in the world.

Despite some local issues overall Canada is a quite safe country, numbers show that Canada is safer than The United States, not to mention troubling South American countries.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada?

For anybody who wants to move to Canada cost of living there is an important question. How much money do you need every month to be able to live in Canada? MapleDude.Ca will try to answer this question.

Is It Expensive To Live In Canada? / Image, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

First of all we have to say that for different people comfortable life might mean very different things depending on the place they are coming from and their standard of living.

Canada is one of the world’s developed countries, income, costs, prices and expenses there are somewhat similar to western Europe, Australia and The United States, people who are coming from those places wouldn’t feel much of a difference.

What are basic necessary expenses for anyone?

  • Food;
  • Rent;
  • Clothes;
  • Miscellaneous (phone, internet, transportation, etc.);

In Canada, however, car is very important as in the U.S. Most of the Canadian cities and infrastructure designed in a way that without a car, especially during long and cold winter, live is quite hard.

Let’s start with food. It is actually quite hard to compare countries by cost of living because numbers are very different from city to city. For example according to numbeo.com (great website to compare prices) grocery prices in Toronto are 9.32% lower than in New City.

To be more accurate go to numbeo.com and compare your city with a Canadian city you want to move to.

These are examples of average food prices in Toronto:

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter): $2.08;
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g): $2.45;
  • Rice (white), (1kg): $3.3;
  • Eggs (regular) (12): $2.75;
  • Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg): $13.48;

Many researches give a number around $200 per month per person as average food costs (source). It can be lower if you can find good deals and shop at Walmart, if you cook food by yourself and don’t go to restaurants.

You will struggle in Canada if you have a bad habit of smoking as one pack of cigarettes would cost you $11+. Smoking will add additional $150 – 300 dollars to your monthly expenses.

That is if you buy cigarettes in convenience stores. Today even marijuana (legal in Canada) might be cheaper than cigarettes.

When it comes to rent prices it is very different depending on the location. In Toronto basement for one month can cost you $500, one room in a house would be from $500 to $1000 (kijiji.ca) and if you want to rent one room apartment it starts with $1500. Rent is much cheaper in smaller cities and if a location far from downtown. If you have money to buy a house, you can check this article to see average house prices in different cities and provinces. Getting a mortgage is not going to be cheaper than renting for a new immigrant because of the lack of Canadian credit history.

To roughly round it up let’s say that rent would be $750 per month.

As i said, it can be a bit lower, but it also can be much higher.

Clothes costs are hard to calculate. If you shop at H&M and such places it is not going to be much, $1200 per year should be more than enough ($100 per month), although many people would live comfortable with $600 annual spending ($50 per month).

Minimum phone bill would be $35 per month, internet cost is similar, but it is often included in the rent.

Transportation in Toronto would cost something like $150 per month (A regular adult Metropass).

To sum this up our minimum cost of living in Canada (Toronto) would be from $1185, that is if you don’t smoke. If you find a cheap place to rent, total monthly expenses might go down by $250. Maybe you can save on food too, then total number would be $100 less. If you are lucky to have workplace at walking distance, subtract another $150 from total expenses. So the perfect case would be around $900 per month, but it is hardly possible to go much lower than that in big cities in Ontario.

With $11+/hours minimum wage ($14 in Ontario) and 40 hours per week you can make $2240 before taxes.

Everything falls apart if we consider car expenses and/or girlfriend expenses. Median monthly cost to insure in Ontario is around $125 (but in places like Mississauga it can be $300+), plus gas, plus a lot of things for the car.

All of this is, of course, very rough numbers, MapleDude.Ca estimates. For a single person you can live on $1k quite easily if you are willing to look for good deals, sales and if you are ok with walking. Numbers can be much lower for other Canadian cities, Toronto is one the most expensive ones (but salaries are higher too). In smaller cities rent is much lower, as well as other expenses, but it is safe to say that it is close to impossible to live on less than $500 per month in Canada.

Some people would say that it is very hard to live on $1000 too, if you live an active live, sometimes visit restaurants, go to movies or clubs, this would add $150-500+ more every month.

How Much It Costs To Buy A House In Canada?

If you want to buy a house in Canada for yourself or as an investment, you will find this article useful. Today MapleDude.Ca going to cover prices for houses in major Canadian cities and provinces.

How Much It Costs To Buy A House In Canada? / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

A good place to check housing market statistics is The Canadian Real Estate Association. According to this organization average house prices as of April 2018 were the highest in Vancouver city (British Columbia) – $1,092,000 with annual growth of 14.3%. Cost of a house in Toronto was $766,000 on average with -5.1% of annual decline.

Canadian Average price of a house in 2018 was around $495,000 with -11.3% decline which might suggest that the market is overheated.

Let’s have a look at more data from other Canadian cities and provinces, here is the average house prices by city:

Canadian Cities Average House Prices April 2018 / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Canadian Cities Average House Prices April 2018

Note that any “average” numbers are not always representative, there are cheap and expensive houses in all places. The average value gives only a general picture.

And here are the average house prices by provinces:

Canadian Provinces Average House Prices April 2018 / Image, table, drawing, picture / MapleDude.Ca
Canadian Provinces Average House Prices April 2018

What Are The Best Canadian Cities To Live In?

In 2018 moneysense.ca published a ranking of best Canadians cities to live in. They based the ranking on their unique methodology which includes a number of factors with different weight, two most important of them are Economy (Jobs, Salaries, etc.) and Affordability (Costs and prices), but the system also considers health, weather, commute, crime, taxes and many other variables.

What Are The Best Canadian Cities To Live In? / Drawing, Image, Picture / MapleDude.Ca
Original image by MapleDude.Ca

This rating might be valuable for people who want to move to another city or for new immigrants. Often we just live where we live for a long time without much thinking only because we were born there or because those are the most popular places for immigrants (such as Toronto). At some point of life many people make a decision to move out so they can find a better job, cheaper property and nicer environment.

Let’s take a look at the ranking MoneySence.Ca did, here are top 10 places in different Canadian provinces:

  1. Oakville, ON;
  2. Ottawa, ON;
  3. Russell, ON;
  4. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC;
  5. Lacombe, AB;
  6. Milton, ON;
  7. Canmore, AB;
  8. Westmount, QC;
  9. Saint-Lambert, QC;
  10. Halton Hills, ON;

Funny thing, eh? You’d expect to see here Toronto, Quebec, Montreal or maybe Vancouver, but they are far down. Toronto on 16-th place, Quebec is on 121, Montreal takes 241th place and a very popular place for Chinese immigrants, Vancouver, takes 88th place.

Oakville takes top because of its amenities, low crime and wealth.
In terms of healthcare and transportation Ottawa is very good. Russell city in Ontario might be the choice for people who want to buy a property. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC is the same as Oakville, but its stats are a bit lower. Canmore city in Alberta province made it to the top because of its low taxes. Good to know. Westmount, QC is very good for artists, it is also famous for its pleasant community.

If we check the worst cities to live in from this list, most of them located in Nova Scotia, many in Quebec.

Sorry…